Uttarakhand

Location of Uttarakhand
Districts of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand (Hindi: उत्तराखण्ड), until 2007 known as Uttaranchal, is a stunningly beautiful state in the Himalayan North of India.

Regions

Uttarakhand has two parts, each with its own culture and language.

Cities

Here are nine of the most notable cities.

Other destinations

The Ganges flowing through Rishikesh
Highest Shiva temple, Tungnath/Chopta, built by Pandavs/Adi Shankaracharya
Pauri town
Pauri at dawn, Himalayas as the last upper ridge in the background
Dunagiri. Experience serenity, divinity, eternity.
Himalayas near Ukhimath, Rudraprayag
Kedarnath & Neelkanth peaks from Ukhimath, Rudraprayag
Chamba town & valley, near Mussoorie

Understand

Uttarakhand, which is in the Himalayan region, is one of the most picturesque states in the country and has tourist destinations that range from hill stations to popular towns to pilgrim destinations.

Talk

The local languages are Kumaoni and Garhwali, but everyone also speaks Hindi. English is not so common, but well-understood and spoken in some parts.

Get in

There are many ways to enter Uttarakhand. If you are interested in seeing the Garhwal region you can enter through either Haridwar or Kotdwar. Haridwar is the more popular entrance. For both options there are regular bus and train services available from New Delhi.

Get around

As public transit is not very extensive in the state, you might consider hiring a car and possibly a driver.

See

Nainital, Mussoorie and Ranikhet though it's better to treat these slightly overcrowded, touristy 'hill stations' as base camps to explore lots of other hidden jewels further afield in Uttarakhand. In Garhwal, Pauri and Gwaldam there are very peaceful & scenic places. In the Kumaon region, if you are near Almora and want to stay in a secluded area, try Peora or Mukteshwar. Dunagiri in Almora district is a stunningly beautiful area off the beaten track. But do remember in Uttarakhand the journey itself is destination.

Do

Uttarakhand is a great place for trekking. At the lower levels, there are forests and wildlife. At the upper reaches, you go past the tree line to snow clad mountains. There are many trip designs which can be conceived of, but there are perhaps around 20 trips which are the most popular. See also: Leave-no-trace camping and Wilderness backpacking

Eat

Kumaoni food is very simple but very nutritious and completely suits the hard environment of the Himalayas. Pulses like gehet are fashioned into different preparations like ras-bhaat, chains, faanda and thatwaani – all are unique preparations from the same pulse. Jholi or curry seasoned with curd. Chudkan

The types of food here include Garhwali, Indian, Chinese and Tibetan. In the tourists centers such as Badrinath, Gujarati, and Marwari, other regional cuisines are available for the hordes of pilgrims that descend on the holy sites every summer.

Drink

Pindari Glacier

Uttarakhand has high excise taxes on beer and alcohol: a bottle of beer can cost ₹80-₹90, nearly double the price of some other states in India. Quite a few holy towns including Haridwar and Rishikesh are officially dry. Cannabis is illegal, but widely used anyway.

Stay safe

The roads are a bit tricky, and taxi rides in the hills may appear dangerous, but otherwise Uttarakhand is a pretty safe place for tourists. However, tourists are known to encounter problems in the urban centers and the plains districts such as Haridwar.

Go next

One may take up one of the trekking tours to have a walk in Chopta, Tungnath, Deoria Taal and Chandrasheela. Or, simply dive into the natural garden of Buransh - a destination considered to be the Switzerland of India.

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